Happy Canada Day!

May affordable healthcare & education persist, job opportunities & humanitarian values abound. May you be saved from Conservatives!

Happy birthday Canada! Joyeux anniversaire Canada!

More pictures from Point Claire Village’s park follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Mohawks on top of skyscrapers

Kahnawake , home to about 8000 Mohawks, is one of the 30 reserves of the Native Canadian in the province of Quebec. It is located approximately 10 kilometers from the city of Montreal just off the Mercier Bridge south of St. Laurent River.

I often go to Kahnawake for various shopping needs. The first time I visited their cemetery (as I always do upon discovering a new place), I was absolutely amazed to find construction pieces of metal installed on so many graves. I had some faint idea about the association and found out more about it through Straight Dope. Following is a is part of what Cecil Adams has to say in response to the following question: What’s the deal with the historical hiring of Native American Indians to work on skyscrapers? Have they all truly been blessed with a lack of fear for heights? (I have included pictures that I took in my recent trip to Kahnawake) Read the rest of this entry »

Growing Protests in Montreal: No longer about tuition fees

Montreal is witnessing “biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history,” according to protest organizers quoted in many local sources of News. [All pictures in this post are taken from the internet (see the text for sources)].

A year and a half ago, the Quebec’s government decided to increase tuition up by 75 percent over five years.  In response to student efforts to negotiate the deal, in February 2012 the government finally revised the increase up to 82 percent over seven years.  The alternative was described an insult by students’ leaders. On February, student groups launched what they expected to be a short strike, but instead it turned to a limitless, open-ended one.  In the coming days and weeks “strike turned into a rolling, day-and-night demonstration, while protesters were surrounded by heavy presence of riot police and met with tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets.” Village Voice

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Story of Dutch Princess and Canadian Tulip Festival

Have you ever visited Ottawa’s Annual Tulip Festival held in May? If you have, chances are you already know the fairy-like story behind it. If not, I strongly urge you to visit if you’re around, and meanwhile I am going to brief you on the story anyway:)

During WW II, when The Netherland  was occupied by Nazis, Princess Juliana and her family fled to great Britain. One month later, the Princess and her two daughters sought exile in Ottawa, Canada, while her husband Prince Bernhard stayed behind to join resistance forces.  On January 19, 1943, Princess Juliana gave birth to a girl in Ottawa Civic Hospital, who was named Margriet after a type of daisy that was worn by the members of the Dutch resistance at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

“I Remember”: A collective art exhibition at Montreal’s Z Gallery

Organized by the newly established Z Gallery, “I remember” is a group exhibition featuring paintings, videos,  installations and collages by 10 Montreal-based artists of various ethnic backgrounds and ages.  The theme of this exhibition is “memory” and is held from May 4 to June 16, 2012 from Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 to 18:00 at Z Gallery.

I encourage those of you who are residing in Montreal or are planning to visit in the next month or so, to certainly make time to drop by at the gallery. The Z gallery itself is a bright spacious studio located at Montreal’s downtown plateau – one of the “coolest” and most “artsy” neighborhoods.  It is established by an Iranian-Canadian artist (Shahrzad Arshadi) with the goal of providing a home for artists “from ‘here’ and ‘there’” – a multi disciplinary home for the emerging as well as established artists in our town. Well, the first exhibition lived up to its promise. On May 4th, I attended the opening of this wonderfully diverse art exhibition and prepared a photo-report of the event to share with you.

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Helping Haitian children to the loving sound of music: A charity concert

About a year and half ago, I became involved with a group of people associated with two churches in our area.  The group had sponsored an Iranian refugee family and undertook to help them settle in Montreal and I was quite accidently involved as a translator. The story around the family and how it got along with the new situation did not turn quite as expected.  But for me personally what came out of that experience was absolutely priceless, as it opened the door of friendship with several incredibly dedicated, kind and caring individuals – the people I would have never even met in my life under any other circumstances.

Last week I got words about one of those two churches, the St. Mary’s Anglican Church, holding its second charity concert to help school children In Haiti. The context of this charity activity is that last year the Primate’s World Relief Development Fund initiated a project with the aim of collecting enough money to provide 3,250 Haitian Children with one daily meal in 15+ schools for one year. Since then, the Youth Group of St. Mary’s Church in Kirkland has been collaborating with Solid Haiti, pledging to support the cause by raising $1500.00 through charity concerts. The concert was to be held at the church on Sunday 22nd. .and tickets were sold at $10.

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Marching with Women of Diverse Origins in Montreal

For the past 11 years, each year on March 8th, the Montreal-based Women of Diverse Origins has been celebrating the International Women’s Day by calling upon women of various ethnic backgrounds, indigenous communities, Trans-Women and all other “minority” women groups. The common goal is to “convey solidarity for feminist struggles of liberation across the world and to celebrate our resistance!”

Tonight about 500 women and men, some with baby carriers marched the streets of downtown Montreal for over an hour, while shouting the slogans, singing with the music, and carrying placards. Unlike last year, which many different groups of Iranian expatriates had attended the march, tonight the only group present with placards and leaflets was the Iranian Women Association of Montreal. Their demands: Free political prisoners, Abolish discriminatory laws against women, No to death penalty NO to war with Iran.  See the two short videos I uploaded on Youtube. Quality is not great, but will give you some ideas of the mood.

Happy International Women’s Day! 

http://youtu.be/SWzqDg6EkqY              http://youtu.be/cwbygD5UqII

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